Exploring Hyde Park and Processing Interviews

This summer I am also a part of the Hyde Park team.  One of the biggest impacts on me so far has been the change in the community since the 1960s.  The Hyde Park of the Memphis World on crossroadstofreedom.org and the Hyde Park today as described on places like wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyde_Park,_Memphis) are polar opposites.

All of the pictures we have seen from alumni rooms, the Memphis Room at the public library, and the Memphis World online have shown Hyde Park to be a vibrant and involved community during our target area.  In some of the interviews I have helped to process from the 1970s, the interviewees talk about residents moving from Evergreen to Hyde Park, not the other way around.  Hyde Park was once a desirable community for all to live in, and I think its present community can be connected to that past.

There are many stakeholders in Hyde Park that would be thrilled to see a better community and I think that revitalization could come to them like it has to other communities in Memphis.  One place our group would like to start is rewriting the above wikipedia page.  We want to highlight the great things about the community’s past, present, and future rather than highlighting the failures and blight.

Another enlightening experience for me has been the processing of interviews that MIFA did in the 1970s and 1980s.  My most recent one was done with Dr. Peyton Rhodes.  This interview held a particular resonance with me because I know who now lives in the home he was living in at the time of the interview in 1979.  Today, the house remains a shrine to Dr. Rhodes with his plaques and birthday cards still hanging on the walls as they did then.  It was really exciting for me to read about this particular house that I have spent so much time in 30 years after this particular interview.

Overall, everyday is a learning experience and I am equally enjoying learning from the past interviews and the interviews we are conducting ourselves. It has been a great month so far, and I am looking forward to one more!


Published in: on June 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm  Comments Off on Exploring Hyde Park and Processing Interviews  
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